David’s Column – OTR’s New Beacon That Welcomes and Inspires All

David’s Column, a sculpture in neon, created by Matt Kotlarczyk and commissioned by the late arts patron David C. Herriman, was dedicated Wednesday through a joint reception hosted by ArtsWave and ArtWorks.

Arts supporters attended the evening dedication and reception, toasting the vision, legacy and inspiration provided by Herriman. Herriman, who died earlier this year, was known for his impact in the arts community. David’s vision for the art piece was to enliven and enrich Cincinnati through three organizations he felt deeply connected with: Know Theatre of Cincinnati, ArtWorks and ArtsWave.

Tamara Harkavy, President and CEO of ArtWorks, shared that David “was a true believer in humankind and a leader with kindness and grace. He listened, asked questions and never hesitated to give his opinion―which was usually spot on because he was keenly smart. He believed in equity and fairness and stood up―usually first―to make sure this was the way we met the world. David made it his mission to tell the world: take notice of Cincinnati because of our best-in-class, innovative arts institutions.”

ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner added, “From our theaters to ballet to opera to visual arts, David moved mountains and created pathways for many local cultural organizations and artists. His legacy now shines brightly and whimsically on the corner of Central Parkway and Jackson, as it does in so many other ways across our community.”

Reflecting on David’s impact on Know Theatre, Associate Artistic Director Tamara Winters recalled, “He saw the value of a company that created space for experimentation and risk-taking new works, and decided in our ninth season that it was time for the Know Theatre Tribe to have a permanent home of our own. In 2006, he took the leap and purchased our building on Jackson Street, where we have been producing work for the last 11 years. David was our champion, and we continue to thank him before every single performance we produce―because we truly would not be here, in our 20th Season, if not for his vision.”

The word “visionary” came up several times in the remarks of each leader. Herriman aspired to put Cincinnati on the map through its arts―an aspiration that is now a reality. Over the last year, 230 million impressions have been garnered through coverage from national media, highlighting Cincinnati’s thriving arts community. Artist Kotlarczyk adds, “Our artistic community just gets stronger and better. It's infectious and we all benefit. David recognized great talent is already here. It's always been here. He provided the confidence and opportunity for us to shout it out!”